Rare Wine Company Historic Series Charleston Sercial Madeira

SKU #1069709 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editor's Choice* The Historic Series are simply great Madeiras at reasonable prices. The Charleston Sercial is the driest of the collection, offering nutty aromas tinged with honey, caramel and maple syrup. Dried figs, honey and candied citrus flavors mark the palate, which is wonderfully smooth. The long finish features racy yet balanced acidity.  (11/2006)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Medium amber. Gingerbread, orange zest, clove, blond tobacco and honey on the nose. Spicy citrus and poached pear flavors are lifted by zesty acidity and show a gentle smoky quality on the back end. Blends sweetness and dryness smoothly, finishing with good nervy cut, a jolt of fleur de sel and lingering smoke, citrus and spice notes.  (6/2011)

K&L Notes

These are the most affordable, representative examples of classic Madeira available. A collaboration between the importer and Barbeito's Ricardo Diogo Vasconcelos Freitas, the idea behind these bottlings is to capture some of the magic of vintage Madeira: the beautiful aromas, intensity of flavor and, most importantly, the acidity. Given the fact that 1.5 to 3 ounces is a sufficient pour, and that once opened, these simply will not go bad, these are among the best deals we have in the store for those looking for a truly unique addition to add to the cellar (as well as drinking rotation)! Sercial is the driest of the Madeira grapes. While there is still a hint of sweetness, as well as richness given the extended ageing and glycerine in the wine, the main characteristic is acidity, wonderful, jolting, intense acidity. While most desserts are out of the question with the Charleston Sercial, it still makes for a fine after dinner wine or a wonderful foil to a variety of dinner dishes.

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Price: $49.99

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By: Mahon McGrath | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/27/2011 | Send Email
The dominant character here is a subdued toasted nuttiness, not specifically almond or walnut, with undercurrents of dried fruit. The palate is another thing altogether. This is one a wine that succeeds more on texture than nuance of flavor. While it is a sweet wine, it doesn’t put itself across the way a sauterne or even a sweet sherry would. It is as though you’d put the proverbial “spoon full of sugar” in your mouth-though for the purposes of this analogy we’d better make sure you’re visualizing raw sugar-and then sucked a fat wedge of lime. The tremendous acidity doesn’t just balance out the sweetness, but actually overcompensates for it, making it seem to finish much drier than it started and lip-smacking, too. Singular stuff. Works pretty nice with a slice of pumpkin pie and I’d wager you would get good mileage out of it with well-seasoned meaty bites, say dumplings of some sort.

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